The assailants broke in after the fighting between ethnic rebels and the military erupted again into full-scale war, storming through his family’s home and calling his name. Thanabalasingham Surendran, a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, fled to the capital, Colombo. But unknown “messengers from military intelligence” kept calling and demanding extortion money. So the shop owner paid a smuggler to get him out of Sri Lanka. As the government claims it is coming close to winning a quarter-century war with the Tamil Tiger separatists, many ordinary Tamils are giving up on their country.